It appears whatever magic that had surrounded post-DL Sean Rodriguez has worn off. SROD flailed his way to a golden sombrero at the dish while being unable to make two plays in the 1st inning that could’ve helped to end the inning without major damage.
Granted, Nick Kingham didn’t do much defensively to help his cause, either. After the Cubs had already pushed two runs across in the 1st inning, Baez and Happ were standing on 2nd and 1st base, respectively. Baez started doing Baez things and took off towards 3rd base before Kingham began his delivery. Kingham noticed this and stepped off the mound, catching Baez dead to rights. Good Kingham! However, he failed to properly lead his receiver (Freese) and the ball sailed into foul territory. Bad Kingham... Perhaps he should try Lester’s bounce pass next time.
Baez trotted in to score without any sense of urgency while Happ advanced from 1st to 3rd on the miscue. Happ would later come in to score on an infield single by Schwarber that was in and out of SROD’s glove.
Nick Kingham labored but was able to get through the 1st inning with 51 pitches. He was yanked immediately thereafter for Steven Brault who wasn’t any easier to watch. Brault allowed five hits while walking five hitters (two of which came with bases loaded) over three innings of relief. Not a good day for his WHIP statistic.
Alex McRae took the responsibilities over from Brault in the 5th inning while making his big league debut. McRae put together a strong outing from the bullpen, throwing three innings of one run ball while striking out three. This lone run was manufactured after Chicago loaded the bases and Rizzo recorded an RBI ground out.
Richard Rodriguez came in to pitch the last two innings of the game, allowing a two run homerun to Contreras in the 8th inning, before recording the game’s final out.
Offensively, Pittsburgh pounded out seven hits on the day, each one of them a single. Hamels, making his Cubs debut, scattered three of those hits over five innings while cruising towards his first ‘W’ in a Chicago uniform.
Those seven singles equated to two Pittsburgh runs, one that came in the 1st inning and the second coming in the 8th. Both of which did nothing that resembled putting up a fight against Chicago’s 9 runs.
Pittsburgh will open up a three game series against St. Louis on Friday where Chris Archer will make his highly anticipated debut in the black and gold.